Sunday, October 31, 2010

2011 Ballston A&C Market's Call to Artists!

Head's up, crafters & artists! The official 2011 Call to Artists is here! Applications are found just to the right and scroll down a bit. :)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Udacha's Urban Holsters

Being involved in a bunch of different markets in the Metro area, I see a lot of cool stuff. But once in awhile, I see something that is so innovative and just plain awesome, it rocks my socks.

Take Udacha, (Ukrainian for "good fortune") for example! Artist/designer, Kate Krezel, turns the fanny pack up to a new level. In fact, I wouldn't even refer to these babies as fanny packs ... they're more like soft, fashionable belt purses or belt pouches ... or bouches! Kate cleverly calls them "urban holsters."

Anyway, they are fabulous and Ballston--you're in luck! Udacha will be one of the awesome 15 exhibitors in the Ballston Holiday Artist Boutique on December 2nd.

So, stop by and get all of your Holiday shopping in one place, and buy 100% handmade by 100% local artisans.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Bags, bags and more bags. I love bags!

Jen-A-Fusion Fashion Accessories are a collection of original items made from mostly recycled, reclaimed, vintage and new material. Full-time artist and designer, Jen Athanas, stitches all of her handcrafted and completely one-of-a-kind pieces from her own local studio. Her line includes unique purses, little bags, scarves, hats and other surprises!

Meet the talented gal behind Jen-A-Fusion and her colorful fabric creations at the Ballston Holiday Artist Boutique on Thursday, December 2nd at the National Science Foundation.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mary Ellen Larkins

Mary Ellen Larkins is quite the busy artist. When's she's not out and about showing her work at all of the gallery hot spots and local Art shows, she perfecting her craft--glass fusion.

Her work is bright, colorful ... and glittery! Needless to say, I own a bunch of her beautiful jewelry. But jewelry isn't the only artform Mary Ellen creates. Her amzing glasswork comes in many shapes, sizes and forms, like menorahs, wall art, food trays, candle holders and much more.

For more photos of Mary Ellen's artwork or to learn more about the art of glass fusion, visit her blog.

And catch her at the Ballston Holiday Artist Boutique on December 2nd at the National Science Foundation from 11 AM - 6 PM!

Washington Post's Holiday Crafts Contest

Who's the craftiest one of all? The Washington Post's Holiday Crafts Contest is a chance to showcase talent for making homemade decorations or accessories.

Submit photos now through November 30 to and enter to win the following:

Grand Prize: $100 American Express gift card and a feature story in Local Living
Reader's Choice Award: $50 American Express gift card and a feature story in Local Living

The judges include Hannah Milman, editor of crafts at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; David Brooks, co-owner of Appalachian Spring; Liz Seymour, Local Living Editor; and Jura Koncius, Local Living Staff Writer.

The finalists must be residents of the District of Columbia, Maryland or Virginia. The winners will be announced in the December 23 issue of Local Living.

To see sample crafts and info on how to enter the contest, visit

Friday, October 22, 2010

Melissa Lew

See this necklace? Yep, this beautiful, award-winning, handcrafted necklace? Well, it's mine. Mine all mine! I completely fell in love with this piece when I saw it last year.
Now you can get your own oringinal Melissa Lew piece at the Ballston Holiday Artist Boutqiue on December 2nd. This is upscale jewerly at its best, folks. You really don't want to miss out on Melissa's new artwork.
By the way, Transcendence 3 (my necklace!) was awarded first place in the category/Best in Show (Handmade Beads) in the 1st Annual Bead Museum Washington DC's Celebrating Beads International Jewelry Competition.
Thought I'd mention that.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Two Belles Southern Pound Cakes

When I returned from Charleston, South Carolina a couple months ago, one of the best things I noticed about the South is their amazing food. The butter, the fish, the all-natural ingredients--they just don't skimp on
anything good. And that's the way I like it.

So, it makes me (and hopefully you, too!) really happy that Two Belle's Southern Pound Cakes returns to the neighborhood to join us at the Ballston Holiday Artist Boutique. Because a good pound cake is a work of art.

Sold in slices (for only $2.00!) and whole cakes (for your holiday parties!), these pound cakes are baked by fantastic southern gals who know their pound cake.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

EHL Creations

We have so many cool artists lined up for the Ballston Holiday Artist Boutique, you really don't want to miss it on December 2nd.

And one of the 15 talented artists joining us is EHL Creations. So, have you ever asked yourself, "What ever happened to good ole Polaroid pictures?" Well, EHL Creations is bringing the art of Polaroid transfers back into the mainstream. You have to check out the amazing images, greeting card designs and the brand-new magnet collection--all made from the art of Polaroid transfers.

So, what are Polaroid transfers? Well, stop by the Boutique on December 2nd and ask the artist herself! EHL Creations' own, Emily Landsman, will be there all day to chat all things Polaroid.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The BumbleBee Studio

Ah, the fresh scent of lavender. Don't you think a gift that soothes the mind, body and soul is perfect for that stressed-out someone in your life? Or maybe even yourself ...

The BumbleBee Studio features natural, handcrafted artisan luxuries for bath, body and home. Each product is formulated with nature's finest plant & fruit oils & butters, pure essential oils and fresh botanicals.

And all of these wonderful lavender products are crafted by hand out of artist, Julie Diers' studio in the Shenandoah Valley.

Visit The BumbBee Studio's booth at the first-ever Ballston Holiday Artist Boutique on December 2nd at the National Science Foundation.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 Ballston Holiday Artist Boutique!

We are proud to officially announce the first (hopefully!) annual Ballston Holiday Artist Boutique! This is an exclusive event, which will include 15 handpicked artists. Similar to the Ballston A&C Market, just more compact and inside. But we're here for the same mission: To further the exposure of alternative and unconventional arts and crafts in the DC area.
This brand-new endeavor will be held on Thursday, December 2nd from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM in the National Science Foundations’ beautiful atrium, which is right across the street from Welburn Square. We think this time will be opportune for NSF employees and visitors to do some holiday shopping.

Holiday season is just around the corner. Look to your right to see our talented list of exhibitors.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday's Market was Amazing!

Well, what can I say? The final Ballston Arts & Crafts Market was so much fun. We had beautiful weather, a fantastic band, and of course, outstanding artists.

This year has been an amazing ride. And it's just gonna keep getting better! We have lots of new ideas we plan to institute next season (rain dates, more music, etc.) and we have YOU--the wonderful artists and visitors to thank.

Although it seems bittersweet, as we say farewell to the 2010 outside Market, we welcome a new venture--the December 2nd Ballston Artist Boutique! More info to follow in the coming weeks. As for now, please check out some pics from Saturday, our last Market of the season.

Thanks again to everyone for a wonderful 2010 Market year!

Fuzzy awesomeness with Babus Toys

Yinibini's baby bigs galore

Looks like the Lynn Veronneau Trio had as much fun performing as we had listening

Custom Dog Jackets was a huge hit

Yep, I bought the cute green house by Grumpy Haters

Brighter Day Beads hard at work

Penelope, our favorite regular

Everything about Nikdapooh Designs is adorable!

Jane Franklin Dance picture courtesy of Maggie Mudd Photography

The bright colors of Holland Cox

I love Jerseymaids

Maybelle Bunny!

Little Blue Studio's fabric necklaces wowed visitors & other jewelers alike

The colorful glasswork of Mary Ellen Larkins

See you soon at the Ballston Artist Boutique on December 2nd inside the National Science Foundation!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ballston A&C Market TOMORROW - October 9th!

I can't believe our final show of the season is tomorrow. The summer has flown by! Won't you come join us on Saturday, October 9th from 10 AM to 3 PM at Welburn Square, to visit with your favorite regulars and to meet some new artists, alike.

Plus, Jane Franklin Dance will be performing excerpts from The Mouse of Amherst from 11 AM - 12:30 PM. Then, local faves, The Lynn Veronneau Trio hits the Square from 1-3 PM!

It's going to be sunny and warm tomorrow--perfect weather for an art market. So, bring the entire family to the Ballston A&C Market. Support the trifecta--Artists Dancers & Musicians.

We'll personally thank you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Q&A with Jewelry Link

1). Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your craft. What sets you apart from other jewelers?
I am a former teacher and have always been involved in the arts and design with my students and in my personal life. I enjoy the creative process and find that making jewelry fulfills that
passion. It seems there are literally endless possibilities when designing jewelry that I find very rewarding and great fun. I think my pieces are quite unique and I am often told, “Your work is so different. You have a great eye.” Part of the difference is that my one-of-a-kind designs are statement pieces. I look for unusual stones in various shapes and sizes and have all my collections of silver, fresh water pears, semi precious stones, etc. at a glance in my studio and then ... let the designs begin!

2). I notice that many jewelers are inspired by nature. How about you? What inspires you when you are designing?
Women inspire me. I want to make women look great and feel great. I have to say I’m delighted to see that my jewelry appeals to all ages. I have many women in their 20s buy my designs as well as gals in their 80s! I feel it’s important to address the experience of becoming “invisible” as we get older (these days over 35 it seems!). That’s why I make statement jewelry. It’s one of the answers to that phenomenon. By accessorizing with interestingly designed necklaces that add sparkle and impact, it says, “Here I am and I’m important, powerful and gorgeous” at any and every age.

Of course, the natural stones inspire me as well. I follow their lead and always try to create something that is beautiful, unusual, wearable, timeless and of course bold. I have started a new Woven Metal Collection for which the Italian woven metal fiber was my inspiration. I just felt it had such potential and possibility. I have experimented quite a bit and think I have created a very new look.

3). What three words would you use to describe your craft?
Bold, unique and fabulous.

4). I see on your website you do a lot of custom work. Do you have a favorite piece that you designed for someone?
It’s fun to design for a particular wish or occasion. My client and I collaborate and then I get to create. I have enjoyed the look on the faces of my clients when they see the piece
I have created. I also do “Reinvintage Designs” where I create new necklaces using jewelry from one’s bits and pieces of jewelry from long ago, sentimental family “treasures”, etc. I redesign necklaces and bracelets adding some new elements and the finished product is new and old and very special. I had one client who had a box of mixed jewelry from her mother. She didn’t really like anything in particular as they were but wanted her four daughters to have something from grandmother. So I took everything apart, added some of my own stones, etc. and created five new necklaces. She was thrilled (and so was I).

5). Where can we find your art outside the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market?
I live in Arlington, so it’s not unusual for clients to come to my home studio. I can be reached through my email, My website is a good place to start browsing even though I have many more pieces from which to choose. I also do various local craft shows -- McLean Holiday Show, Flower Mart at the National Cathedral, office and home shows. I sell in a boutique in Montecito, CA, Chateau’s in Fairfax and several other locations in the area. I just completed an order for my Woven Metal Collection from the National Building Museum’s Museum Store in DC!

Bonus question: Quick! What do you have in your pockets right now?
My pockets are empty but my collar and wrists are fully accessorized!

Jane Franklin Dance This Saturday - October 9th!

We have a special treat this Saturday at the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market. For the final market of the season, Jane Franklin Dance, a modern dance company based in Arlington, will stop by the market and perform excerpts from The Mouse of Amherst, adapted from the book by Elizabeth Spires.

Catch them in action on October 9th from from 11 AM - 12:30 PM. This engaging new work promises to spark imagination and delight both children and adults.

Then, stick around for the band -- local faves, The Lynn Veronneau Trio, from 1 - 3 PM!

So, bring the whole family to Welburn Square this Saturday for crafts, lunch and wonderful musical performances. Help us support the arts in all its many forms!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yinibini Q&A

1). I gotta ask. What’s the story behind the name of your business, Yinibini?
It's a play on my first name 'Soyini' from when I was a kid ... you know that Banana-fo-fana song? Well, as kids, we all sung it with each other's name as a tease. So, mine went something like "Soyini, bini, fo-fini, fee fi fofini--bini" or something like that. I drew off of this rhyme and added "bini" to the last four letters of my first name. And so that was the birth of the brand "Yinibini."

2). You create a lot of different products, from baby bibs & tees to Caribbean-themed jewelry. Do you have a favorite to create?
I really enjoy making baby clothing and accessories the most because I get a kick out of seeing the babies wearing the clothes and accessories and looking so cute! I'm also happy to create peices that their parents love and enjoy putting on their babies.

3). What three words would you use to describe your craft?
colorful, pop-art chic, comfortable

4). My favorite place in the world is Virgin Gorda. How has the Caribbean inspired you and your designs?
My life in the Caribbean has really opened my eyes to the beauty of nature, color and culture, and I enjoy experimenting with different color combiniations. Sometime while I'm working in my studio, I draw off of memories of things I have seen, such as the market lady with her full skirt and a basket of colorful fruit on her head, or the bright red hibiscus flower bush that my uncle used to trim, or sometimes, even the colorful kites that were flown during Easter.

5). Where can we find your craft outside the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market?
You can purchase the Yinibini Baby collection at ArtSpring in Silver Spring, Maryland and the jewelry at A Show of Hands in Virginia. I also appear at a number of craft shows, so to find out where I will be next, just visit my blog.

Bonus question: So, ninja pandas or a yeti. Who would win?
Ninja pandas, of course!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween at the Ballston A&C Market October 9th!

We love Halloween! Do you?

On October 9th, two artists at the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market will help you celebrate all things scary with creepy (but awesome!) Halloween-themed gifts for you and your whoevers.

Market regular, BoxBoy Demented Decoupage, brings on the spooky with All Hallow's Eve decoupaged boxes, skeleton artwork and his amazing Day of the Dead pieces.

Then, in the circle, catch Morbid Decor's Ballston A&C Market debut! In this booth, you'll find the first and best horror-themed lightboxes and lamps out there.

Find BoxBoy Demented Decoupage in his regular space, Booth #19 and Morbid Decor in Booth #4 this Saturday, October 9th!